There you go. Deported from Australia. I have been so many times to the States without ever having any issue with immigration (except for the one time I’ve put all my meds in the same container and they thought it was a bit suspicious, but they let me in).
Do you guys have any idea how far is Brazil from Australia. It’s like the other side of the world. The quickest trip goes thru the South Pole. No, I couldn’t seen any Coca-Cola polar bear from the plane. I think I saw an iceberg, but that was all.
About 4 months prepping for that. I’ve managed to pay about 1,000 dollars for it. It was a Qantas promotion, so I bought it in advance, last november. So the only thing missing is a Visa. No problem so far. I already have an american visa, I’ve have a canadian one, I’m well traveled in south america and even been to Europe. I have my own company (two, actually) that supports me financially so I can travel without worrying about money. All good. I even bought a lot of aussie dollars from an ex-staff member from LimeTime, also got some American Dollars and even Euros that guests from the hostel ask to exchange.
A girl friend of mine dates another friend of mine that is from Australia (Hello, Jason and Roberta) recently went there and she told me they ask for a Yellow Fever Vaccination card. No where in the visa form this is mentioned. But anyway. I have been to Peru twice, and they also ask the same. I got my shot about 5 years ago, but I just don’t remember where it was kept. So I decided to call the Australian Visa Central or whatever they call it, that ironically is located in CANADA, and I ask about it. They told me that yes, its a requirement, but if I didn’t have it with me, they would ask me to sign a form saying I was responsible if something happened, yadda, yadda, yadda… Well, fine then…
Whomever follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows all about my preparation. All my friends dying to see such a good friend leaving for such a long time (just a freaking month).
Well, guess what? One of my hobbies is DJing! Yes, I mix dance music on night clubs so people can dance and have a good time, and so do I. I don’t do it for the money, but only because I like doing it. I have no intention of becoming Calvin Harris and go around the world on tour. (Hope it happens, lol) But I wouldn’t skip the chance of DJing in some parties in Oz. After all, most of the tunes I play comes from there (Hello, Bag Raiders).
So, one of my former guests at LimeTime just so happen to work for Modular People, the label for Bag Raiders, Van She, Muscles, and so on… And when there was a Smirnoff Night Life Exchange party here, he put me in contact with Tim Poulton, that works with him and is the booking agent for those bands. We become friends and he was looking for some parties for me to DJ. Not only him as all my friends there, since I have plenty that I’ve met thru the hostel.
And since I have more than 1800 friends on Facebook and I dont know exactly where all of them are from, I decided to create and event and invite all my friends, and they had the option to confirm if they were in Oz so we could meet up. On the event I decided to write “If you know any party promoters, help me by getting gigs. Im bringing my DJ stuff, and looking forward to party with you all! :)” It took a while for anybody to confirm me on any gig, so I was already kinda hopeless. Some friends told me about other promoters, clubs, etc, when finally Tim sent me a message to confirm a gig. So we exhanged this messages on Facebook:
First set I have for you is April 29th in Sydney, will that work for you?”
To which I replied:
“Sure… Im leaving Syd on may 4th, so ill be there. Whats the name of the place?”
Notice that at any moment we mentioned money. For the same reason I mentioned above. I didn’t wanna do this for the money. If by any chance they offered me anything, I would probably spend it all on booze at the same place. But that was never my intention. All I wanted to do was to mix some electro with some brazilian music that the crowd would like, get the aussie girls worked up, and luckily get out of there with someone! :P
Now the drama begins. The flight was alright, pretty long, but good. I decided to not take any of my equipment, not even my laptop I took with me. Only took my Hard Drive cause I was planning to buy the new Macbook Pro there. Tom (not Tim) has a BCD 3000, the same I used to use before, so that would be enough for me. Not even my big DJ headphones I took with me. Only my In Ears that I’ve been using lately (Kudos to Laidback Luke).
So, going thru immigration, obviously they asked for the Yellow Fever Card. First Mistake. But I already knew what was going to happen. Or I thought so. I’ve been sent to another person that asked me to wait there. He came back and asked if I had a cell phone with me, cause I couldn’t keep it with me while there. So I gave him my iPhone. Suddenly the same guy comes back and asks me what I do for a living. I told him I have my own hostel in Sao paulo. He insists. I insist on the same answer. So he asks me what I was doing in Australia. Vacation, I say. He insists again, and asks if there was nothing else I was meant to do there. I told him no. ANd he says My facebook and twitter says otherwise. Boom… That’s when I got in trouble.
@garfolino Just got my first gig in Sydney! :)
Just after Tim mentioned the party, I posted that on my Twitter. The problem is that for me GIG is just a party to play. Apparently GIG is slang for WORK!
So they print this out along with this other tweet:
@limetimehostels Bebeto is off to Australia tomorrow! If you’re there, join the event! Le Garfs Invades Australia!
There, now they are all freaked out.
So it starts a series of interviews and questioning about my intentions there. I told them I have no reason to be working there, that I have my own company that supports me very well financially, told them how much money I make, how much money I took with me (they counted it with me), showed them my credit cards, told them how many friends I have there, and all… I told them DJing is just a hobby, that I have no intention of making money out of that, I just wanted to have a good time with my friends.
Then it comes to the second biggest problem. They found Tim’s number on my iPhone and called him. He didn’t know what was going on, so he told them details about the party that even I wasn’t aware of. He confirmed the gig, told them the venue and when they asked him if I was getting paid, he says Well, yes, we pay DJs 50 dollars per hour. That’s when everything went to crap. But he even said he didn’t know how he was going to pay me for that since I dont have an ABN. (I dont know what ABN is, im just assuming…) So, I couldn’t receive that money. Ok, Its Australia, not Brazil, so everything must be done correctly.
I insisted that I have no idea he was planning to pay me for that. That I never talked to him about money. So they asked me for my Facebook password, which I promptly gave to them, but they couldn’t access it since when you try to log on facebook from a different part of the world, they ask for a lot of confirmations, so it doesn’t get hacked. If they needed my help for that, Id be more than happy to help.
So, no deal. They asked me to give a last statement telling them whey they should not cancel my visa and let me stay.
So I told them all again. I was there as a tourist, and just so happens I’m a DJ, that yes I wanted to DJ in some parties with my friends, just as a hobby and for fun, and I have no intention to make money out of that, because I really didn’t need to be travelling there. For me, it’s just like bringing a guitar and play at the beach, is that work? No deal. They cancelled my visa. Apparently, DJ is a profession indeed in Australia (it’s not in Brazil, yet) and to DJ at parties means work for them, even thou you’re not getting paid for it. I even promised them that if that was the case, I wouldnt do it. In my mind all I was thinking was that if they let me in, I wouldnt get anywhere close to a DJ booth. Again, no way, Jose.
Well, the airport was about to close and the only flight back to Brazil was on the next morning. I’ve managed to get out of the airport, scorted, of course, to an Immigration Detention Center. I forgot to mention that I lost my jacket on the boarding gate in Buenos Aires. So for me not be cold, they even gave me another hoodie to keep. I was never treated badly by any of them. Only when they gave me frozen chicken, that I obviously didn’t eat, so I was hungry until the next morning when we went back to the airport.
So that’s me, Brazilian, DJ, Hostel owner, detained (not arrested), in the middle of a bunch of chinese people and people from other places that were obviously there trying to get illegal jobs, just waiting to be sent back to my country. Good thing is that I got my own room, so I just laid down and slept.
6 am they knock on my door and wake me up. I got release from that area, and they took me back to the airport. The whole time I was hoping somebody would come and say that it was all a huge misunderstanding and overrated, and would apologize and let me in. Silly me. I got locked up a bit more there, until they put me into my flight. But at least, they were nice enough to go to McDonalds for me and buy me some food. At that point I was starving.
Well, here I am, back in Brazil. And I’ve learned a few lessons. Set your Twitter account to PRIVATE. If it wasn’t for that, they wouldn’t know anything. And always take all your documents when travelling. If I had tried harder I possibly would have found my yellow fever card. I bet if I look for it now I can find in less than 30 minutes. And third. DJ is a profession in Australia. Always deny that you can mix music together.
On the good side I didn’t spend any money in Australia, so I bought a new Nintendo Wii with Mario Kart for the hostel at the Free Shop in Argentina.
To know more about who I am, check out LimeTime’s Web site and my Soundcloud.